tv Book Discussion on Bubba Toothed Bandit CSPAN September 4, 2015 6:22pm-6:35pm EDT
florida was essentially wasteland until he built his railroad. you simply couldn't develop an area like palm beach or miami until you had secure rail transportation to the outside world. realized he was pioneering, that he was opening up these areas to development. .t surprised even him in his old age, he said, "i always believed in the future of florida, but i didn't appreciate how quickly it would happen." >> up next, we talk with tracey eaton, author of the book "bubba bandit." i have been a
journalist since 1983. i worked for seven daily becoming abefore teacher. -- yearsast 12 years, of my reporting career, i worked out of mexico city and cuba. i was doing a city on tourism and i wanted to go to tobacco country in cuba. i got onto a bus and headed out to the western -- to western cuba. when i was climbing aboard the bus, this guy asked if i was from dallas. i said no, i am from denver. but i work for the dallas morning news. he said, are you tracey eaton? and i said, yeah. he said, i read your stories. the guy's name was john stanley. turned out, he had a really interesting story.
thief, a car thief. he specialized in robbing luxury automobiles, mercedes, porsche, and bmw. he would take the vehicles to mexico and sell them to government officials and law enforcement and others. that is how he made a living. eventually, there were charges against him and he decided to to avoid theo charges. he was a fugitive for a while in mexico. at one point, he thought things would be safe so he crossed the border. i think six or seven years had passed so he crossed the border and got arrested has his name was in the system as a fugitive. he gets caught, convicted, goes to prison, spent six or seven years in prison. at that point, he gets out of jail and decides he will turn his life around and became a crime consultant but anti-.
he wants to help companies like car deal eyes -- car dealers avoid kart beats like him. show.n had a radio i thought he had a really interesting story and i decided to write about it. i wrote a story about him. i saw him occasionally when i would go back to dallas. he is a really nice guy, a gentleman. a couple years go by. in 2004, i get an e-mail from someone saying, your friend john stanley got arrested for bank robbery in kansas city. it turns out that the police garageim at a parking with a fake mustache on that was half falling off. he was counting $8,200 in cash from his most recent bank robbery. it was the end of a 34-bank
spree, a crime spree. he had just snapped and went on this crime spree. it was hard for me to confirm for sure that he robbed 34 banks. that is what he claims. there is not an actual record and he was not charged with that many robberies. he said he got so used to robbing banks that it was like a day at the office. in, he would use fake teeth and he would go do these robberies. he would wear a baseball cap and be unshaven and fill in some of the gaps in his beard with mascara. he would go into the bank and use a gun in his robberies. he never shot anybody. by, and af years go year and a half or two years ago, i get a call at home from a federal prison and it is john stanley. talked me that he hadn't
to anyone, not his family, his wife, his kids, friends. he had gone into seclusion but now he wanted to tell his story and was i interested in hearing it? i said, sure. i went to texas and interviewed him at a prison. i said, so john, why did you do this? and he said, well, it was suicide by judge. wanteddepressed and he to go to prison for the rest of his life and wanted to rot behind bars. in his earlier life as a car thief, he went to jail for that, he made an oath to a greek philosopher, socrates, he had made a promise to socrates that he would give up materialism and try to be a decent, law-abiding guy.
when he went on this bank robbing spree, he broke his promise to socrates and decided that the only thing fit for him was to just die. effect, told the judge, throw the book at me. the judge gave him 57 years. he won't make it out of there is life -- alive. he is scheduled to get out of there in the year 2062. i love stories about people whether it is john stanley the bank robber or other people who kind of live life on the edge. -- lately iviewed have been interviewing fugitives and other folks in cuba. i am curious about everything. there are all kinds of stories that i would love to do and i just don't have time. i have gone to cuba and talked fugitives there,
the americans who in the 60's and 70's hijacked planes and fled to cuba. one of them that i talked to hill, he isarles accused in the killing of a patrolman in new mexico. he is a really interesting guy. i united states and face charges. he said no, man, i'm going to stay here. if i went back there, they'd give me a hundred years. in the story i did about him that most recently came out, a defense lawyer in santa fe, new mexico, got in touch with me and said, hey, did you put me in touch with charlie hill. so i put them in touch and now charlie hill has a rain shower. this lawyer told me that he's
concerned that renewed cuba-u.s. relations is going to make it easier for bounty hunters to go down and grab people. he thinks he's kinds of fugitives are less secure that they were and he wants to try to protect them. so i guess time will tell how it ll shakes out, but the cuban government has said that they've given political amnesty to these people and they don't intend to turn them over. cuba is a challenging place to work, you know. there's a international press center that handles press credentials, so if you go to cuba and want a press credential, you have to apply for it, so you tell the cuban government what stories you want to do. i mean, you're supposed to specify what you want to cover and they either approve it or they don't approve it. and so it'ses -- it can be difficult to get in sometimes, because they may not like a
story that you're doing. i've done stories that have angered the cubans, angered the cuban government, and i've done other stories that they thought were fine. what i do through the whole thing is i try to make sure that there are open lines of communications so if they're mad about the story, at least they can vent, they tell me about it, and -- because i think with communication, you can resolve misunderstandings and kind of move ahead. and i think that on balance, they see my reporting as fair. i don't think that they -- one official told me one final he was -- this was at the cuban foreign ministry. he said, i want you to know that i don't complain about -- i don't tell you about every story that you write that i don't like. he said we would be in talking about this even more. so i guess they don't complain
about every single one, but i try to always treat people in cuba with respect and so far, it's worked ok. but as you say, it's still a country that -- where there are serious limits on the press and those reporters who really -- i take my hat off to are the independent journalists who are cubans living there in cuba and -- cuba and trying to report, because they don't have all the advantages of a foreign reporter there, and some of them are subject to a lot more pressure than i was ever subjected to. i think investigative journalism is more important than ever before. first, let's just consider the amount of information out there. in less than three days, google processes the same amount of information that all of mankind
wrote down during all of human history in every single country in any language, so all of written recorded history, you know, going up until the internet age, google now processes all that information in just three days. so i think that journalists are valuable to try to help sort through that and separate fact from fix. so i like journalism because of the people that i meet, the stories that i get to do. and then also i hope that some of the journalism that i do is cone in the public interest and that it serves some kind of higher purpose. this is not just a story about money and oil. it's about people. the stakes are high. the territory sits atop 846 million barrels of oil worth beings of dollars. whether it be trying to hold government officials accountable r, you know, ex posing
corruption or just telling people a little bit more about the -- what our federal government does, and so i'm really all kinds of journalism, but investigative journalism is especially close to my heart because of the public service that i think it does. >> in st. augustine, the c-span cities tour spoke with political science professor michael butler author of thebook, "beyond integration: the black freedom struggle in northwest florida," 19 of to 1980. >> most history of the civil rights movement focus on the montgomery to memphis years, the king years. they focus on what happened in terms of how facilities integrated. and that's important. it's an important story to tell. but what i was most interested in is what happens in communities that didn't grab national